Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and molasses.
On low speed, add flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator or freezer until firm, about 15 minutes in refrigerator.
Depending on size and shape of cookies, bake for 10-15 minutes until cookies are crisp but not dark. Let cookies cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to wire racks. Do not let your cookies cool completely on the baking sheets. They will get soggy. (NOTE: my 3 1/2 inch gingerbread people cutouts took 13 minutes to bake)
Once cookies have fully cooled, decorate with royal icing, sanding sugars and sprinkles.
Whisk together meringue powder and sifted confectioner’s sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add whisked ingredients and water. Paddle on low-medium speed for a couple minutes until icing is smooth and shiny.
Use immediately. Store extra icing in an airtight container with a moistened paper towel directly on top of the icing to keep icing fresh. Store in the refrigerator. (makes about 1 cup)
COOKIES ADAPTED FROM MARTHA STEWART